4G Launch Disappointing in some Areas

News Article - Wednesday, 31 October 2012 10:47

By: Kerry Butters Category: Connectivity

EE’s 4G launched today in ten cities across the UK and has received mixed reviews from those testing it, most due to reach, rather than speed, which appears to be as impressive in some parts as promised.

However, a poll carried out by The Telegraph suggests that many people won’t bother switching until it becomes available from all of the network operators. The survey found that out of almost 6000 people taking part, 50.65% said they would only get 4G when they can "choose what network" it’s on.

21.34% of people said that they would switch to the new mobile broadband standard with whoever offers it first, in other words, EE, whilst 14.71% said they would only switch if 4G is available on the handset they want.

13.3% said they wouldn’t bother at all as 3G download speeds suit them well enough at the moment.

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones tested 4G across cities throughout the UK and found that whilst central London had the fastest speeds of up to 53.74Mps, these reduced substantially across other cities such as Manchester and didn’t reach outlying areas such as West London.

EE has been criticised for its price plans for 4G, which give a mere 500MB for £36 per month; of course, bolt-ons can be purchased or users can upgrade to the £56 per month package which allows for 8GB of downloads.

This is expected to put many consumers off until it becomes more widely available and a larger range of handsets are on offer. Another concern is that as the faster data transfer uses more processing power, mobile phone batteries will die quickly, making it somewhat useless to have a great connection on the move unless you carry a charger.

With EE promising coverage to 98% of the population by 2014, this currently looks unlikely if speeds are fluctuating so much in the initial roll out cities, with even areas of the flagship city of London failing to receive a signal at all.

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